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HOME  > Past issues  > 2024 March 13 - 19  > Unionized non-regular workers at famous sushi chain ‘Sushiro’ go on strike for higher wages
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2024 March 13 - 19 TOP3 [LABOR]

Unionized non-regular workers at famous sushi chain ‘Sushiro’ go on strike for higher wages

March 13 and 17, 2024

Seeking to push Japan’s most famous kaitenzusi (conveyer-belt sushi) restaurant chain Sushiro to offer a substantial wage hike, non-regular workers have staged a strike at Sushiro outlets in various prefectures, including Miyagi and Tokushima.

They are members of the Tokyo Metropolitan Youth Union “Kaitenzushi” branch which organizes non-regular workers at kaitenzushi chain restaurants. In this year’s “shunto” spring wage offensive, the union is pressing Sushiro to offer a wage hike to pay at least 1,500 yen an hour to its restaurant workers.

In Miyagi Prefecture, union members working at a Sushiro outlet in Sendai City went on strike on March 11 in protest against the company’s offer to increase the hourly pay at this shop by only 40 yen to 1,000yen.

At a rally held during the strike, “Kaitenzushi” branch head Yoshida Hokuto criticized the company’s offer as totally insufficient to survive the cost-of-living crisis.

Yoshida referred to the experience of union members at this Sushiro outlet. In last year’s “shunto” labor offensive, workers at that outlet did not have a wage increase. So, union members together with fellow workers began a signature-collection campaign for higher wages. As a result, in October, workers’ hourly wage increased by 50 yen from the previous 910 yen. Yoshida said that learning from this experience, it is necessary to make tenacious efforts to win a 1,500-yen per hour wage policy.

In Tokushima Prefecture, “Kaitenzushi” branch members at a Sushiro restaurant in Yoshinogawa City held a strike on March 14 in order to force the company to revise its offer which it says it will raise the hourly wage of this restaurant workers by 20 yen to 1,020 yen.

In April last year, thanks to the union’s fight in the “shunto” wage negotiations, workers at that restaurant saw a wage hike of 100 yen to 1,000 yen per hour.

At a rally held near the restaurant, the Secretary General of the Tokyo Youth Union, which is affiliated with the National Confederation of Trade Unions (Zenroren), Obayashi Tetsuo delivered a speech, and said that the company’s offer in this year’s spring wage bargaining fails to keep pace with the rising cost of living.

Representatives from Zenroren member unions in the prefecture and a Japanese Communist Party local assemblyperson delivered speeches in solidarity.

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